A crime comedy set in 1930s small town New Zealand about a naive teen who conspires with two misfits to photograph and blackmail wealthy, adulterous couples. Stars Flight of the Conchord's Jemaine Clement as the creepy Spook, The Lovely Bones' Rose McIver as the lusted-after Maybelle, portly Australian comedian Heath Franklin, Wellington theatre actor Hayden Frost and musician Tim Finn.... More
Shot in the ‘Naki, this is the only remaining unfilmed novel by late Hawera author Ronald Hugh Morrieson (Came a Hot Friday). Director Jason Stutter has had a long collaboration with Clement, from his debut feature Tongan Ninja through to 2009's Diagnosis: Death.Hide
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BY Andrew-Hedley Flicks Writer
Predicament trudges along with a lingering sense of apathy, as if the filmmakers ran out of energy halfway through production. It’s all about some misfits in a bother marginally more exciting than being overcharged for a Tui at the Hawera RSA.... More
Thankfully, every effort is made to spruce up the presentation – there is something creepily gothic and wonderful about the creaky old buildings, the film is attractively lit and the flamboyant camera moves look like each took an afternoon to rehearse.
Perhaps needing a few more afternoons to rehearse is Aussie import Heath Franklin, who brings no charm, charisma or discernible personality to his line readings. Hayden Frost – the timid Laurel to Franklin’s Hardy – receives the unenviable task of over-enunciating words and blinking a lot. Thank goodness for Jemaine Clement, a glorious relief, like God chucking a gigantic bath sponge into the Gulf of Mexico.
The film’s conclusion is announced not with a cathartic release of tension or dramatic pay-off but by end credits scrolling up the screen. If you’re still awake, you might like to pay your respects to the hard-working crew. They’ve at least made this dull caper look good.Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
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Another major disaster for the current film commission funding system... but what interests me here is, why aren't you guys fronting up with a review? Kiwi toes too sensitive for your heavy tread, you reckon? It's a pretty glaring omission, given some of the minor fare you're deemed review-worthy lately. Local films deserve the same scrutiny as everyone else's, surely!
Saw this last night, an it was awful. Clement has his moments, but overall I just found it weird. No doubt this will be a major flop, and more than likely end Stutter's career, which is a shame because i do think he's talented, or maybe I was just dazzled with the terrific camera work and art direction - which was truly world class. Shame about the script - that needed to better, to really engage and appeal to a bigger audience.
Overall not bad. Shot well with nice art direction and costume. The biggest let down was casting, in particular Heath Franklin who while I'm sure is a capable actor didn't seem to fill the shoes of the lines he delivers in the film. I wanted someone bigger in personality and considering his character is on screen 80% of the film a wiser choice should have been made.
At the end of the day though a refreshing New Zealand film in terms of subject and taking opportunity of our literary past.
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